MATSUI STATEMENT ON HOUSE PASSAGE OF JOHN R. LEWIS VOTING RIGHTS ADVANCEMENT ACT

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 24, 2021 | George Hatamiya (916-201-5412)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-06) issued the following statement after the House voted to pass H.R. 4, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021.

“Today, the House voted to restore the full force of the Voting Rights Act and lift up the voices of the American people,” said Congresswoman Matsui. “At the very core of our democracy is the fundamental right to vote. My dear friend, the late Rep. John Lewis once said that ‘Your right to vote is precious, almost sacred,’ and he dedicated his life to expanding that right to as many Americans as possible. We must continue his work – our work – holding our country accountable to be the best version of itself.”

“By passing the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, we are taking vital steps to fight back against voter suppression,” Matsui continued.  I am proud to co-sponsor this legislation, take a stand to defend our democracy and honor the life and service of our beloved friend and colleague.”

Named for the late Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis, H.R. 4 restores the preclearance requirement, allowing the federal government to once again reject many restrictions to voting, and creates a new practice-based preclearance requirement.  The bill also eliminates the heightened standard for challenging voter suppression laws.

The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act will also:

  • Allow federal courts to immediately halt measures that put voting rights at stake until a final ruling is made.
  • Empower the Attorney General to request that federal election observers be present anywhere in the country where discriminatory voting practices pose a serious threat.
  • Require reasonable public notice for proposed voting changes to increase transparency.
  • Allow the federal government to review already-enacted but not-yet-implemented measures.
  • Help plaintiffs seek injunctive relief for voting rights violations ahead of an election. 
  • Establish a grant program for small jurisdictions to help them comply with the bill’s requirement to provide public notice for proposed voting laws.

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